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601 Squadron/MANAT

("Flight Test Centre")
Role: Trials & Evaluation

The Hatzor based evaluation unit is dedicated to flight testing and evaluating aircraft and weapons systems for the IDF/AF. This includes equipment proposed for IDF/AF procurement and also captured enemy types. The highly experienced pilots are often called upon to fly unusual aircraft and helicopters with minimal briefing and technical backup.

Captured aircraft are usually passed on to the IDF/AF museum at Hatzerim after evaluation, although certain key types have found their way to the USA for further testing. The unit has no dedicated aircraft as such, normally borrowing aircraft as and when needed. The unit is normally referred to as MANAT (Mer-kaz Nisu-yei Ti-sa = Center for Flight Testing).

Air Bases:
Base Duration
Hatzor 1955? - Present

Aircraft Used:
Type Qty Service Badge Example Serials
Gomhouria1+1967 (ex-Egypt)
MiG-172+12 Aug 68+ (ex-Syria) 1522
MiG-21F-131+16 Aug 66+ (ex-Iraq) 534(007)
Mil Mi-41+  (ex-Egypt)
Mil Mi-81+16 Oct 73+  (ex-Egypt) 1208
MiG-23MLD Flogger-G111 Oct 1989+ (ex-Syria) 2786
SA342L Gazelle2June 1982-1988+ (ex-Syria) 1322
F-16A1+1993 299
F-16C1+1993 301
F-15I11998 - 1999  

Unit Insignia:
Figure 1 Figure 2
to be added to be added

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First Created: 31 January 1998 - Last Revised: 20 September 1999
Copyright © 1998 John Hayles.     e-mail: